Remodeling My House
When thinking about remodeling your home sometimes it can be a scary thought. It doesn't need to be. Remodeling your home, especially if it is older can reduce energy costs and hopefully allow you to live in your home longer. If you are thinking of selling it would probably increase the value of the home and make it more attractive to buyers.
Hiring a professional? Check his insurance
When you are beginning to think of a remodeling your home. The first thing you should consider is hiring a licensed home inspector to come in and give you a professional evaluation before you decide to proceed and how. He or she will check your home from top to bottom and give you a written explanation of what he finds and what areas need correction or improvement.
When hiring a professional, it is very important that you check his insurance. This is true with a licensed home inspector or if you decide to hire a contractor. This is especially true if hiring a contractor to work on your home.
Protect yourself. Only hire a licensed, insured and bonded contractor. And don't take his word…ask for a current certificate of insurance naming you as additional insured on his policy. This way you can make sure that it is in force and that the limits are adequate. (It is absolutely OK to ask for an insurance certificate from your contractor. The contractor and his/her insurance agent should happily provide it.
You should also confirm your contractor's licensing status with the New York Labor & Industries Department. That way if someone is injured on your property as a result of the contractors work for example, the contractors policy will pay to protect and defend you in a court of law and pay any claims if applicable. We also recommend getting a Hold Harmless Agreement signed. We are not attorneys, but we provide a sample for you to review with your attorney HERE.
There are three major parts of a contractor's insurance policy:
- Worker's Comp: Applies when an employee or sub-contractor gets injured on the job site. Worker's Comp covers medical/rehabilitation expenses and lost wages for the worker. If the contractor's limits are not adequate, an injured worker may sue you.On a side note: If you assume the role of being your own General Contractor, you may have to purchase Worker's Comp Insurance before you hire sub-contractors. Contact the New York State Department of Labor and Industries for more information.
- General Liability: Covers negligence on the contractor's part which causes injury or property damage to others.
- Builder's Risk: Covers damage to your home and materials, including materials that haven't been installed yet.
Are you your own General Contractor? The risk may be greater than the savings!
While many homeowners prefer new - it can be very effective to remodel or renovate by doing small projects. Paint the house to give it a fresh look. If thinking about replacing the flooring, choose wood to increase the value. Landscaping can also provide curb appeal.
If you function as the General Contractor and hire sub-contractors to work in or on your home, you may be held responsible in case of an accident or an injury to a worker or to a third party. According to New York Labor Law it is your responsibility to be sure your employees and subcontractors that you hire have access to safety equipment and are actually using it.
Your homeowner's policy may provide some liability coverage, but even if so, it may not be enough to cover your assets if you are sued for liability and medical costs.
Worker's comp is not always required by law but if you are in the situation of hiring sub-contractors to work in or on your home and property, you may want to purchase Worker's Comp insurance for your own protection.
Since this is a very complicated topic with many variables, you should speak with your agent before hiring anybody.
All in all, you might be better off both financially and risk-wise if you hire a licensed and bonded contractor who has the insurance and the experience. It may save you a lot of hassle and worries during an already stressful time. We certainly do not make recommendations but we can give you a list of insured contractors in your area.
Major Remodel? Insure the "After" before it's too late
If you don't want to remember the "Before", be sure to not leave your homeowner's policy stuck in the past! If you plan a major remodel like an addition, a new deck, or a significant upgrade, be sure to call your trusty insurance agents at Tanner Insurance Agency to inform us about the scale of the remodel you are planning.
The replacement value of your home may now be significantly greater than it was before, and your homeowner's policy limits might not be enough to cover your house if you have a total loss. Also, if you have an extended replacement coverage endorsement (very important!) your policy contract requires that you inform your insurance company of any significant change in value. Finally, if you purchased new furniture or electronics, be sure to adjust the personal property limits on your homeowner's policy.
However, don't wait until all the work is done. During the construction phase, you may have a significant amount (and dollar value) of supplies stored on your property. If these building materials are stolen or destroyed before your remodel is finished, there may be inadequate coverage.
So, don't let your excitement be dampened by unforeseen incidences. Give us a call before the 'After', and get the peace of mind you deserve.
How certain remodels can save you money on your homeowner's insurance
If you did a major remodel that included updating certain systems such as...
- Putting on a new roof
- A security system
- Or other features that improve the safety of your home...
...give us a call 1-888-484-2467 and share the news!
You may qualify for a new discount on your homeowner's policy!